The Big Idea for Wine (by W.R. Tish)

Posted: November 29, 2012 by wynmaker in Australia, Europe, France, Italy, South Africa, Wine, World wine news
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Old world wines reflect place. New World wines come from grapes. Get set for the Next World— where wines are based on concepts.


Make no doubt: what’s in the bottle counts. But so does what’s on it, especially now that the proverbial wine “lake” has grown into a global ocean. And more than ever, the imagery wine suppliers are choosing to project—and which in turn merchants are compelled to embrace—involves words and art that favor a “concept” instead of, or on top of, a wine’s ampelographic information.

The era of wine being labeled predictably is over. The standard formula of “Somebody’s Something from Somewhere” still works, on a boilerplate level. But traditional wine lingo has always been problematic for Americans, most of whom just want something tasty to drink. If the Old World represents wines based on place, and the New World represents wines based on grapes, it is entirely reasonable to frame a third sort of world—one where wines project a concept.

The steady growth of more expressive wine branding is a natural byproduct of both the crowded wine marketplace and modern  consumer culture. Wines labeled Chateau This and Over-There Vineyards are feeling rather…20th century. The material world around us today is fueled by brands that “speak” to people, wearing their attributes as vividly as possible. Detergents are designed to look and sound clean. Electronic gadgets exude utility and efficiency. Athletic products evoke speed, strength and optimum performance. Why should wine be any different?
Read on …


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